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November 13, 2012

Clarksville rate increase approved, after all

Council president says the town needs to purchase equipment

CLARKSVILLE — In August, the Clarksville Town Council’s attempt to increase the rate on its cumulative capital development fund from 2.2 cents to 5 cents was denied by the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance, but it turns out that the rate increase will be going into effect anyhow.

The town appealed the state’s decision, and the DLGF allowed the rate increase to go through, according to DLGF Communications Director Jenny Banks. The DLGF issued an amended order approving the fund Sept. 24.

The council initially voted July 30 to increase the rate on the fund. The DLGF’s decision to deny the rate increase was announced at a town council meeting Aug. 6. The reversal of the DLGF’s decision was not announced at a town council meeting, but Council President John Gilkey said he believed it was discussed at a council work session several weeks ago.

The rate increase will affect Clarksville property owners. Clarksville taxpayers who have not yet reached the circuit breaker property tax cap can expect their town taxes to go up about $28 per $100,000 assessed valuation. Five cents is the statutory maximum rate for the fund.

The fund is used for major capital purchases like police cars and fire trucks. Gilkey said the town has a number of major capital purchases planned for next year.

“We’re talking about the acquisition of a garbage packer and there’s been some discussion as to the acquisition of a new fire truck,” Gilkey said. “Both of those are extremely expensive pieces of equipment, and those are just the ones that we have on tap right now.

“We’re constantly looking at replacing existing equipment or bringing in new equipment that can do the job less expensively.”

The town could also use local option income tax, or LOIT, funds to purchase the new fire truck, but Gilkey said that the council is concerned about the amount already spent out of that fund this year for new equipment for the police and fire departments.

“We’ve just made some major expenditures out of that fund, and that is also the fund that the county is wanting to commit to the E-911 system out of, so we’re reluctant to over-commit out of that fund,” Gilkey said.

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